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RISC-V: Military/Aerospace Designs, Road Ahead, Libre GPU

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Hardware
OSS
  • RISC-V Eases Innovation in Military/Aerospace Designs

    The RISC-V Instruction Set Architecture (ISA), and open hardware standards in general, have the potential to be a real boon the military and aerospace designers. “RISC-V is being received with open arms by the military and aerospace sectors,” said Tim Morin, director of strategic marketing in Microchip Technnology’s FPGA business unit. “They are very excited about it.”

    From a design perspective, the ISA addresses the need to minimize power consumption, streamline bill of material (BOM) costs, and optimize board space. “With RISC-V, when you create an integrated circuit, you do exactly what you need,” said Michael Cave, senior director, strategic technology at SiFive, adding that the company is bidding on DARPA projects currently. “The government loves that reality. The government feels like if they don’t do something innovative, China is going to capture the lead.”

  • RISC-V: The Road Ahead

    Now that RISC-V has established a beachhead as a deeply embedded controller in SoCs, it’s time to start asking the next question: Can this open-source instruction-set architecture (ISA) make the next big leap into being an alternative to Arm and the x86 as a host processor?

    The short answer is yes, but it could take several years and there are plenty of pitfalls along the way. Essentially, the freewheeling open-source community behind RISC-V will need to develop and adhere to a wide range of system-level standards.

    So far, Nvidia and Western Digital plan to use RISC-V controllers in their SoCs, and Microsemi will use it in a new FPGA. Andes, Cortus, and startup SiFive sell IP cores, and a handful of startups plan to launch mainly machine-learning accelerators using it.

    RISC-V is in as many as 20 million fitness bands and smartwatches in China. In the U.S., SiFive has shipped more than 2,500 development boards using processors that it aims to sell as IP cores or as SoCs through its design services.

    “The lowest-hanging fruit is the embedded space where the APIs are not exposed to programmers,” said Rick O’Connor, executive director of the non-profit RISC-V Foundation. “That’s the easiest thing to do, but there’s healthy activity in all segments.

  • Libre RISC-V GPU Aiming For 2.5 Watt Power Draw Continues Being Plotted

    Besides having a dedicated Intel GPU to look forward to in 2020, the effort around creating an open-source RISC-V architecture based graphics processor continues being spearheaded by Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton and other libre hardware developers.

    This is the ambitious effort for effectively creating a RISC-V-based Vulkan accelerator that hopes to be able to achieve 25 FPS @ 720p, 5~6 GFLOPs. Part of how they plan to make a RISC-V based GPU viable is via their Simple-V extension for RISC-V. While the performance target is incredibly lax by today's standards, they do plan for an aggressive power consumption target of just about 2.5 Watts.

More in Tux Machines

Sad News - Martin Schwidefsky

We are devastated by the tragic death of Martin Schwidefsky who died in an accident last Saturday. Martin was the most significant contributor to the initial s390 port of the Linux Kernel and later the maintainer of the s390 architecture backend. His technical expertise as well as his mentoring skills were outstanding. Martin was well known for his positive mindset and his willingness to help. He will be greatly missed. Read more

today's leftovers

  • This Week Twitter Taught Me: Thunderbird is Go, But Windows Text Editors are Not!
    Although it’s proving difficult to stay on (Linux related) topic, this series has proven a great success in only 3 weeks — so much so that I’m planning to launch three separate spin-offs! I mean, I might as well milk the franchise for all I can while the udders drip with goodwill, right? Keep an eye out for “This Week My Spam Folder Taught Me“, “This Fortnight a Disqus Bot Taught Me” (spoiler: bit repetitive that one) and, to serve the overlooked people-who-read-this-site-whilst-diving niche, “This Month Diving Taught Me”. I wouldn’t get your hopes up for the latter, though. I can’t swim, let alone dive…
  • Timetable Scheduler App For Linux
    Timetable is a scheduling app available on flathub repositories. The app is maintained by the Elementary OS team and thus it’s User Interface looks like its own native OS. Might look a bit out of place on GNOME, KDE, Cinnamon, etc but still yet the app works like a charm. Read on below to get more done with Timetable.
  • Juan Luis Baptiste : New docker images for upcoming mageia 7
    I have added new docker images for the upcoming mageia 7 release. Thanks to the latest work on our image build tools, the images are available in all architectures mageia 7 supports: x86_64 armv7hl aarch64
  • Manas and Marek: Improving Fedora release process
    Manas Mangaonkar (pac23) is working on the Change Management Tool, a tool for the Fedora Program Managers and contributors to propose, edit, and approve changes per Fedora’s change process. He was selected for Google Summer of Code 2019. We asked Manas a few questions as he prepares for his next three months working with Ben Cotton, his mentor for the summer.
  • Candy Tsai: Outreachy 2019 March-August Internship – The Application Process
    Really excited to be accepted for the project “Debian Continuous Integration: user experience improvements” (referred to as debci in this post) of the 2019 March-August round of the Outreachy internship! A huge thanks to my company and my manager Frank for letting me do this since I mentioned it out of the blue. Thanks to the Women Techmakers community for letting me know this program exists.
  • Ubuntu Weekly Newsletter Issue 579
  • Sony's Deal With Microsoft Blindsided Its Own PlayStation Team [iophk: "RIP Playstation"]

    Last week, the companies announced a strategic partnership to co-develop game streaming technology and host some of PlayStation’s online services on the Redmond-based company’s Azure cloud platform. It comes after PlayStation spent seven years developing its own cloud gaming offering, with limited success.

    Negotiations with Microsoft began last year and were handled directly by Sony’s senior management in Tokyo, largely without the involvement of the PlayStation unit, according to people familiar with the matter. Staff at the gaming division were caught off-guard by the news. Managers had to calm workers and assure them that plans for the company’s next-generation console weren’t affected, said the people, asking not to be identified discussing private matters.

Kernel: Guix and Logitech

  • Creating and using a custom Linux kernel on Guix System
    Guix is, at its core, a source based distribution with substitutes, and as such building packages from their source code is an expected part of regular package installations and upgrades. Given this starting point, it makes sense that efforts are made to reduce the amount of time spent compiling packages, and recent changes and upgrades to the building and distribution of substitutes continues to be a topic of discussion within Guix. One of the packages which I prefer to not build myself is the Linux-Libre kernel. The kernel, while not requiring an overabundance of RAM to build, does take a very long time on my build machine (which my children argue is actually their Kodi computer), and I will often delay reconfiguring my laptop while I want for a substitute to be prepared by the official build farm. The official kernel configuration, as is the case with many GNU/Linux distributions, errs on the side of inclusiveness, and this is really what causes the build to take such a long time when I build the package for myself. The Linux kernel, however, can also just be described as a package installed on my machine, and as such can be customized just like any other package. The procedure is a little bit different, although this is primarily due to the nature of how the package definition is written.
  • Improved Logitech wireless device support in kernel 5.2
    The just released 5.2-rc1 kernel includes improved support for Logitech wireless keyboards and mice. Until now we were relying on the generic HID keyboard and mouse emulation for 27 MHz and non-unifying 2.4 GHz wireless receivers. Starting with the 5.2 kernel instead we actually look at the devices behind the receiver. This allows us to provide battery monitoring support and to have per device quirks, like device specific HID-code to evdev-code mappings where necessary. Until now device specific quirks where not possible because the receivers have a generic product-id which is the same independent of the device behind the receiver. The per device key-mapping is especially important for 27MHz wireless devices, these use the same HID-code for Fn + F1 to Fn + F12 for all devices, but the markings on the keys differ per model. Sofar it was impossible for Linux to get the mapping for this right, but now that we have per device product-ids for the devices behind the receiver we can finally fix this. As is the case with other devices with vendor specific mappings, the actual mapping is done in userspace through hwdb.
  • The Better Logitech Wireless Device Support In The Linux 5.2 Kernel
    Red Hat's Hans de Goede who was involved in this latest Logitech support improvement work for the Linux 5.2 kernel has now blogged to share additional background information on the effort.

Top 20 best Tizen apps and games for April 2019

We are into May 2019, and it’s time for our monthly roundup of most downloaded Tizen apps and games for the previous month. The month of April 2019 did not see many new entrants making their way into that coveted Top 20 list, just three to be precise. An action game named Zombie Derby made the biggest jump to find itself on the fourth spot, whereas another action game, Mountain Sniper Jungle, enters the Top 20 list in the sixteenth position. A train simulator game named Euro Train Driving is the last new entrant on the list at seventeenth. The list is led by the usual trio of WhatsApp, Facebook and Facebook Messenger. The rest of the story is also pretty much the same: Hancom Office Viewer, Opera Mini web browser, HERE Maps, Instagram, Smart Tutor, Xender etc. Read more